Ford F-150 Lightning Will Get A New Buying Option

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Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst - May 21, 2021

The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is set to offer a buying option most F-150 shoppers may not be familiar with. We've learned that Ford plans to offer its new electric pickup with the same financing options as the Mustang Mach-E. As a result, the cheapest way to buy one could be a form of financing called Ford Options Plan.

Traditionally, buying a car involves choosing between buying and leasing. With EVs, the best deals often favor leasing over buying. In Ford's case, that actually changed a year ago with the introduction of a new program that has thus far been limited to the Mach-E known as Ford Options Plan featuring balloon financing.

Today we learned that Ford Credit plans to offer Ford Options Plan with the F-150 Lightning, too, according to an email from a spokesperson for Ford Credit. While full details and Options Plan pricing for the F-150 Lightning haven't been revealed yet, we think it's possible that it could become the most affordable way to buy.

We did a cost analysis of Ford Options Plan versus buying and leasing and found it offered the cheapest way to buy a Mach-E. However, this appears to only be the case if you're eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. Leasing a Mach-E has a major disadvantage because Ford Credit is actually keeping the credit for itself.

Having said all of that, there are risks with balloon financing. Deals like this promise "lease-like" monthly payments with the biggest downside being a large final payment if you choose to buy your car once your contract is up. However, this option does offer a degree of flexibility by offering the ability to return your car.

Leasing an F-150 Lightning could be a bad option. That's because we don't yet know whether the company plans on keeping the tax credit for itself on leases. In the case of the Mach-E, Ford didn't even offer a lease initially, something that changed late last year. Ford still isn't even showing a Mach-E lease on its website.

There's still about a year before the brand's first electric pickup hits dealer lots. While the prospects for F-150 Lightning plug-in rebates look good, leasing one could be an iffy proposition. In the right scenario, Ford Options Plan could be an appealing choice but we'll need to wait for more info to make a recommendation.

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, Senior Pricing Analyst

As CarsDirect’s resident pricing analyst, Alex offers must-know analyses of pricing & incentives to those looking to buy or lease a car. His consumer-oriented coverage of the latest trends and breaking news has been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business, Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, and more.

Follow On: Twitter

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